Syracuse Recruiting Roundup: Phil Picciotti, Michael Van Buren

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Oct 1, 2016; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Syracuse head coach Dino Babers speaks with reporters following the Orange's 50-33 loss to Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wesley Cheng/The Juice Online.

Spring recruiting is now in full swing, and there’s plenty to cover in this week’s Syracuse recruiting roundup.

In April, I wrote about how SU has refocused its recruiting, pivoting toward its backyard in New Jersey. The Orange coaches were on the recruiting trail this past week, with a particular emphasis on the Garden State again. Syracuse handed out over 20 offers, some of which are highlighted below.

Of particular note, Syracuse offered five players from New Jersey in the 2024 and 2025 class. They also stuck to the more traditional recruiting areas, with a large group of offers going to the DMV, Pennsylvania and Florida areas.

And Syracuse has also been active in hosting recruits on campus. Since I discussed the Orange’s renewed focus on in-state recruits last week, I wanted to highlight two other in-state recruits who were on campus recently.

» Related: Syracuse football taking close look at NY recruits

The first includes 2024 Rochester (NY) Greece Athena quarterback Jayden Rapp. Rapp is a two-sport star (baseball) and visited the Orange in mid-April. Sports Illustrated’s Mike McAllister caught up with him about his visit recently, and Rapp left SU with a good impression. “It definitely raised my interest significantly,” Rapp said to McAllister about his visit.

Syracuse also hosted another Rochester native, 2024 Rochester (NY) East athlete Anthony Diaz. He already holds an offer from Buffalo, and has played running back, WR and DB. “I really fell in love with that place,” he said to McAllister after his visit.

Switching to the hardwood, Syracuse assistant coach Allen Griffin offered 2023 four-star guard Kaden Cooper on Friday. 247 Sports currently rates him as a three-star prospect, but expect that to change in the near future. Cooper has seen his recruitment take off recently, and has landed offers from high-majors such as Kansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and LSU, among others.

That was SU’s second offer of the week. The other was to 2023 big man Tafara Gapare, whose recruitment has taken off since April. The South Kent (CT) High prospect also holds offers from Pittsburgh, Maryland, Arizona State and Rutgers, among others.

And finally, Syracuse women’s basketball received a commitment from Lexi McNabb, a 5-foot-7 combo guard from Arizona. She is the daughter of Syracuse football great Donovan McNabb and Raquel (Nurse) McNabb, a former women’s basketball star.

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About Steve Auger 164 Articles
Steve Auger is a freelance writer whose work has covered a variety of topics including sports, pets, parenting, healthy living, local government and human interest stories. Steve’s been a diehard Syracuse sports fan for over 25 years. To this day, the words “Smart takes the shot” still make him cringe. And according to Rutgers' fans, he's "not a take."